The Calabasas High Coyotes gave Santa Clara a brief scare Friday night but in the end the Saints went marching home with another Frontier League basketball title.
Ho hum--at least that was the way Santa Clara Coach Lou Cvijanovich reacted to the Saints' 50-42 victory at Calabasas. The win secured his ninth league title in 10 years, his 565th victory in 30 years at Santa Clara and his 18th consecutive league win over Calabasas.
"I'm not excited, but I'm excited for the kids. They've worked real hard," Cvijanovich said.
It was the Coyotes who were working hard in the first period. Calabasas (11-11, 5-2 in league play) jumped to an 8-0 lead and held an 18-8 advantage after one period as guard Jon Drezner scored 10 of his game-high 18 points, including two three-point shots.
"The kids were walking on air. I've never seen them so pumped up," Calabasas Coach Bill Bellatty said. "But they came down."
Reality slapped the Coyotes in the face in the second quarter as Santa Clara (14-8, 7-0) scored the first 17 points of the period. Calabasas did not score until Kevin Shaffer's basket with 1:18 left cut the Saints' lead to 25-20.
Calabasas' only other points in the second period came on Howie Gaynor's three-point shot at the buzzer, and Santa Clara led, 27-23, at halftime.
The Saints built their lead to as many as 13 points in the fourth quarter before the Coyotes made a late run.
A three-point shot by Drezner pulled Calabasas to within 45-37, and Jeff Bell's steal and layup made it 48-42 with a little more than two minutes to play.
But the Coyotes, noted for their penchant for taking three-point shots, never scored again. They finished 8 of 18 from three-point range.
Gaynor had 12 points for Calabasas--all three-point shots.
Santa Clara, which outrebounded Calabasas, 36-19, was led by reserve forward Kyle Cunningham's 16 points.
"I'm proud of my kids. They did a great job," said Bellatty, whose team suffered a 28-point defeat to Santa Clara earlier this season. "They never gave up."